5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician

An “electrician” who isn’t capable of working with electrical wiring and elements can cause substantial damage to your home as well as risk the lives of you and your family. Finding the right electrician can be as much a matter of safety as getting your money’s worth since electrical problems are among the leading causes of house fires.

1. Are They Licensed?

Electricians are required to be licensed in California. There are two basic levels of licensure – a master electrician and journeyman. A master electrician has at least two years of professional experience and is licensed for both design and installation of electrical systems. They know the National Electrical Code and any modifications that your state has made to it. They are qualified to plan, design, install and maintain an electrical system for your project. A journeyman is licensed for installation only and sometimes work alongside master electricians. By law, he cannot design systems but can install wiring and equipment. Ask to see the electrician’s license – ensuring that it’s valid will affect your decision to hire or not. Also, consider if the electrician would be required to get a building permit. Before the building inspector can sign off on the work, the inspector must examine it to see if it’s up to code. The standard practice is for all electricians to pull permits.

2. Are They Insured?

Certainly one of the deal-breaker electrician questions, given the potentially high liability for this work. When interviewing an electrician, ask to see a copy of his state license as well as proof of insurance. Make sure both are current.  Electrical contractors should carry at least $500,000 in liability and workers’ compensation insurance. If they do something wrong, cause damage to your home, or cause damage to you, you want to know they’ve got the means to pay for it through their own insurance company. When interviewing an electrician, ask to see a copy of his state license as well as proof of insurance.

3. Do They Provide References?

References are important for hiring electricians. You have every right to ask for a list of references from previous customers before you call anyone to work in your home. Use them to see how satisfied they were with the job done and the service he or she provided. Use them to help make your final decision.

4. What Are The Warranties?

Learn how well a pro stands behind his electrical work. Also be aware that electricians typically assume responsibility for fixtures, devices and other equipment they buy for you through their professional accounts. Most electrical changes requires a permit issued by your local building department.

5. What’s Their Specialty?

Electricians tend to specialize. Some concentrate on new construction, some just in commercial work, and some go only on service calls to fix dead outlets or faulty fixtures. Even if another contractor handles the specialty stuff, it’s helpful if your electrician has experience working with those systems and protocols. Most general contractors have a short list of dependable electricians, but if your contractor can’t recommend one, check with the local home-builders’ association or an electrical supply house in the area for a recommendation.


Ready for Your Home Energy Audit?

At Frontline Electrical Services we love helping our customers feel safe and secure in their homes. If you are in the Benicia or Fairfield, California area, contact us today at (800) 945-0268 (here is a map to us) to have your home’s wiring checked or to receive your free home energy consult where our techs analyze your electricity usage and give you the information you need to make sure your home is the most energy-efficient it can be! Remember, if it’s electrical, we do it!



  1. https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/blog/5-questions-ask-electrician/
  2. http://www.blogsnow.com/5-critical-questions-to-ask-before-hiring-an-electrician/
  3. https://www.todayshomeowner.com/bringing-in-an-electrician/

8 thoughts on “5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician

  1. Thank you for informing me that most electricians tend to specialize and that it is best to ask an electrician of their expertise before hiring them. I have been meaning to have the power sockets at my new apartment inspected to ensure all is well. I will call up an electrician and confirm with him that he has the knowledge and experience to service my needs.

  2. Kate Hansen says:

    It’s good to know that when hiring an electrician, references are important. For the past couple of weeks, the lights in my basement have been flickering and my husband and I can’t seem to fix the issue on our own, so we want to hire a professional to help us. We’ll make sure to keep this information in mind as we search for an electrician to help us with our flickering lights.

  3. Hiring an electrician seems like a very tricky thing to do. So, I liked your advice about asking if the electrician has a specialty. I never thought about how a residential and commercial electrician will need to do different things. That is something I would have never thought about checking.

  4. It’s helpful to know that we should take care to ensure that an electrician is sufficiently insured before we hire anyone in case something goes wrong. My wife and I are considering renovating the living room of our house since it’s old and doesn’t have many outlets for appliances and such. If we start looking for an electrician to help with that, we’ll have to double-check that they have all the license and insurance papers for us to feel secure.

  5. The simplicity of your presentation is highly-motivating for learning. Please keep it up for your teeming followers.

  6. It made sense when you said that asking about warranties is a good way for us to find a professional that stands behind their quality of work. My husband and I want to hire an electrician to add outlets to our master bedroom and living room within the next month or so. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed about choosing a good electrician before reading your article, so I want to say thanks for sharing!

  7. charles walk says:

    I didn’t know before that some electricians will offer warranties on their work, so I appreciate that you mentioned it. My wife and I have been talking about finding someone to fix the electrical parts of our water heater, so it could be optimized for our needs, and it will be important for us to know that we could find the right one to help us. To be sure that we are hiring a pro, I will check to see if they offer warranties.

  8. Mike Sanders says:

    I like what you said about making sure that you hire an electrician that has liability insurance. My sister has been telling me about how she wants to get a light fixture in her kitchen replaced soon. I’ll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for professionals who can help her with this in the future.

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